(1) To determine the incidence rate of non-fatal occupational injuries requiring admission into private hospitals in Al-Khobar city during a 12-month period among workers insured by the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI). (2) To describe the pattern, characteristics and outcome of these injuries. (3) To estimate their subsequent direct medical costs.
This is a cohort study design. The cohort consisted of workers at workplaces where insurance cover ensured admission into two private hospitals selected randomly in Al-Khobar city. A data-collecting sheet was used to collect the necessary data from both the patient and his medical file on admission into hospital.
The injury incidence rate was 7.1 per 1,000 full-time workers. All injured workers were males. Grouped by nationality, 1.5% were Saudis, 74.8% from the Indian subcontinent and 13.2% Filipinos. Main injury sites included hands and fingers (32.1%) multiple parts (20.7%), lower limbs (20.5%), eyes, head and neck (11.5%) and back (9.5%). Falls were the main cause of injury (33.4%), followed by tools-related injuries (23.9%), falling objects (14.5%) and car accidents (12.0%). The majority of admissions (77.8%) were for periods less than 1 week with only 7.1% for more than 3 weeks. Absence from work was more than 3 weeks and less than 1 week in 35.5% and 24.9% of the admissions, respectively. The majority of the cases (65.0%) visited clinics 2-7 times. Direct medical cost per admission was less than SR 2,000 in 63.9% of the cases in one hospital (1 USD = SR 3.75).
The incidence rate was lower than, but comparable to those rates estimated in more detailed surveys from other countries. Occupational injuries requiring admission into hospitals contributed to 18.3% of the total cases of injuries among insured people during year 1995 and were responsible for significant medical charges, human suffering and loss of productivity. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that GOSI should study the reasons behind the current situation and find appropriate solutions.